Finding Productivity

Mobile working boosts productivity say almost 70 percent of knowledge workers according to a survey conducted at NEXT15. Find out more on how we (will) work

“How will we work in the future?“ This was one of the key issues at the NEXT15 conference, which took place in September as part of the Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg. The advancement of the workplace in German offices has been the subject of a street survey conducted by NEXT Premium Partner Microsoft within the scope of NEXT15.

Every second knowledge worker finds that at least half of their working time is unproductive. 60 percent of the respondents said they lose valuable time in handling emails and searching for them; most of the time is lost for filtering out irrelevant emails. As a result, two thirds of the study participants are demanding structured work tasks involving clearly specified objectives and processes.

More than 400 knowledge workers from the IT, marketing and finance industry responded to the survey, nearly 60 percent younger than 35 years. Most participants, however, are not at the beginning of their career, but have rather taken up leadership positions already.

The key results of the survey:

  • Already more than 80 percent of the respondents are free to choose
    where and when they want to work.
    Only one in five (18
    percent) works according to predefined and fixed working hours,
    workplaces and working devices.
  • More than half of the respondents use cloud technologies such as
    Office 365, OneDrive, or SharePoint
    for working on documents,
    another 48 percent (multiple responses were possible) is organised
    within the company, for instance, using a social network such as
    Yammer. More than two thirds even refer to their employer as a
    “social enterprise”. This is a good thing because just as many
    survey respondents find that a relaxed working environment and an
    efficient team are “beneficial to their productivity”.
  • Almost 70 percent rate mobile working to be boosting productivity.
    According to the respondents, teamwork and modern cloud technologies
    are the key drivers of productivity in their enterprises.
  • However, a number of critical comments on the current daily work
    routine were also raised. Every second, for instance, perceives at
    least half of his working time to be unproductive.
    60 percent of the respondents lose valuable time in
    handling their emails; most of the time is lost for filtering out
    irrelevant ones. As a result, two thirds of the study participants
    demand structured work tasks involving clearly specified objectives
    and processes.
  • On the bottom line knowledge workers draw a consistently positive
    conclusion: Almost all respondents relate to the statements “I
    have accomplished a lot today” as well as “I enjoyed my work today”.


Office work needs to be reinvented from the bottom up

“The future of work consists of communicative thinking processes and social interaction“, Microsoft, one of the content partners, wrote in the run-up to the conference. “We have to think of an entirely new way of how we work in the office – above all, we need an integrated approach.” The keynotes delivered at NEXT15 by Dr. Thorsten Hübschen, Yuri van Geest, and Tim Leberecht as well as conversational formats with Tobias Schwarz (Netzpiloten), Linh Ngyuen (Kisura GmbH), Ellen Kuder, Caroline Rünger, and Ulrike Grewe (Microsoft Deutschland GmbH) as well as Jenny Herald (6Wunderkinder) have reinforced this thesis.

New Work: On the way – but not yet reached the finish line


“The survey proves that we are on the right track and making good progress in the advancement of the office work“, comments Dr. Thorsten Hübschen, responsible for the Office business at Microsoft Germany, and one of the speakers at NEXT15. “But, the study also reflects the responsibility that technology providers such as Microsoft have taken on in this process of transformation. As a consequence, Office 2016 is strongly focused on productive mobile working and the networking of teams.”

Under the hashtag #findingproductivity, Microsoft has recently initiated the search for a new productivity formula for the digital world. Based on 16 theses in the form of a dossier, Microsoft is calling for a dialog on the concept of productivity.